Thursday, April 27th 4-6 PM : Amy Borovoy “Japan Studies in the Postwar Era: Reflections on Modernity and Society in American Social Thought”

Amy Borovoy

Associate Professor of East Asian Studies, Princeton University

“Japan Studies in the Postwar Era: Reflections on Modernity and Society in American Social Thought”

Thursday, April 27

4-6 PM

CEAS 319 (Harris School, 1155 E 60th St.)

Please join the East Asia: Transregional Histories Workshop and the Committee on Japanese Studies in welcoming Professor Amy Borovoy (Princeton University) as she presents a section of her new project. Professor Borovoy has provided the following abstract for her talk:

In the decades following World War II, Japan emerged as a “place to think with” for American social scientists. Until 1945, Japan studies had been centered in Europe. Although understanding “total war” was the initial provocation for American social science research, as in the 1946 classic, The Chrysanthemum and the Sword, not long after, social scientists began to see in Japan compelling forms of socio-centrism, social community and cultural identity. By the 1970s, Japan studies had become fruitful terrain for reflecting on the excesses of American liberal individualism. In this project, I analyze this process through a series of canonical texts in anthropology and sociology, from Benedict, to occupation-era village studies, to Thomas P. Rohlen’s ethnography of a Japanese bank and Ezra Vogel’s Japan as Number One. Japan’s modernity offered powerful insights for those wrestling with American post-industrial society, but it was an experiment made possible by a particular historical moment, and one that raised as many questions as it answered.

As always, first-time attendees are welcome. Light refreshments and snacks will be served. This event is sponsored by the Committee on Japanese Studies at the Center for East Asian Studies.

If you have any questions or require assistance to attend, please contact Jessa Dahl at or Erin Newton at

Jun Hee Lee 2/11

Music for the Youth: American Folk Song’s Impact on 1960’s Utagoe
Ling to paper: Music for the Youth

Speaker: Jun Hee Lee (PhD Student, Department of History, University of Chicago)

Discussant: Paride Stortini (PhD Student, Department of Divinity, University of Chicago)

Date/Time: Thursday, February 11, 4:15 to 6:00

Venue: John Hope Franklin Room (SSRB), Room 224

10/30 Wang You

Feed the Lower Gentry: Survival Strategies and the Grain Tribute in the Early Nineteenth Century


Presenter: Wang You (MAPSS)

Discussant: Pan Yiying (PhD student, EALC)

Date/Time: October 30, 4-6 pm

Venue: 1155 E. 60th St., Room 319

6/5 Guo-Quan Seng

Of Daughters and Widows: Kapitan Legal-Ritual Brokerage and Creole Chinese Patrilineal Inheritance in 19th Century Colonial Java

Peranakan Chinese family, circa 1890

Peranakan Chinese family, circa 1890

Speaker: Guo-Quan Seng (PhD Candidate, History)

Discussant: Eric Alan Jones (Assistant Director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies & Associate Professor, History, Northern Illinois University)

Date/Time: June 5, 2014 (Thu), 4-6pm

Venue: John Hope Franklin Room (SS224)

March 27 (Tuesday): Julia Strauss

Julia Strauss

Senior Lecturer in Chinese Politics, SOAS, University of London

“Theatres of Land Reform: Repertoire and Campaign in Su’nan and Taiwan, 1950-53”

(co-sponsored with East Asia: Politics, Economy, and Society workshop)

4-6 pm, March 27 (Tuesday)

Location: Pick Hall Lounge


Abstract: Although scholars have been reluctant to directly compare the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of China on Taiwan, in the early to mid 1950s, these two consolidating party-states had far more in common than is generally supposed. For both,the pursuit of land reform was key to the regime consolidation and perceived legitimacy of the regime. For both land reform was a signature policy and was implemented as a campaign by which each regime fundamentally reordered relations economic and political relations in the countryside. This article explores a range of surprising similarities as well as points of divergence. It focusses in particular on the ways in which land reform campaigns were organized, justified and pursued, the ways in which particular pre-existing rhetorics and repertoires were invoked, the ways in which large numbers were mobilized in support of the campaign, and the specific “theatres” in which the power of state mandated land reform was displayed.